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A mental health issue/difference does count as a disability and the truth is, if you suffer from one and are looking for a job, you’re stronger than you think you are. You’re battling something in your mind that’s an “invisible illness” to the public, but very real to you, and that has provided you with problem-solving abilities others do not possess.
Here’s how to turn a perceived problem into a possible plus when it comes to scoring the dream gig you deserve.
Related: Returning to the Office: What Managers Can Do to Prepare
Identify positive coping mechanisms
Behavioral disorders require us to break things down into bite-size pieces so as to make the impossible seem tolerable. And that is a HUGE workplace asset. We are solving daily puzzles. Gathering the problematic parts individually, in the unique way everyone with mental health issues does, helps us to complete tasks differently and more efficiently than the so-called “normies” we’re competing with. Explaining how you fit yourself into an often overwhelming world shows potential employers that you bring a unique perspective to a workplace that may need it.
Study the studies
You may think that you know everything about mental health differences, but there’s always new information regarding what’s going on inside your id and ego. A previous therapist recommended I read the work of Kay Redfield Jamison since I have a mood disorder that she specializes in. I started with “An Unquiet Mind” — which talks about how creatives, with afflictions similar to mine, tend to outperform peers in various problem-solving ways, while sourcing back to multiple studies throughout the course of the book. It has been invaluable in helping me sell myself.
Step back before stepping in
Press “pause” before making a move that could risk landing a job just because you’re feeling risque. If you need to take a step back? Do just THAT. It’s always better to reschedule, in advance, rather than honoring an interview time when you’re in the middle of a mental health episode.